Appendix B
Statement of Task

To assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its efforts to secure the Nation’s infrastructure and economy against terrorist attack and other catastrophic loss, the NRC will examine the public health, economic, and national security importance to the United States of key chemicals and chemical processes. A systems analysis perspective will be utilized to suggest a methodology to prioritize risk, identify scenarios of concern, and determine investments intended to enhance the long-term stability of the Nation’s chemical infrastructure. Within resources and information available, this review will:

  • Identify classes of chemicals and chemical processes that are critical to the nation’s security, economy, and health. These products and services will be examined according to key sectors, including but not limited to manufacturing, agriculture, food, water, and public health.

  • Identify the major vulnerabilities and points of weakness in the supply chain for these chemicals and chemical processes that could lead to catastrophic consequences. Include vulnerabilities during transportation and any special vulnerability that could exist during national emergencies. Examine the possibility of cascading failures that could lead to catastrophic supply disruption.

  • Assess the likely impact of a significant disruption in the supply of these chemicals and processes. Using a systems perspective, discuss the size



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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities Appendix B Statement of Task To assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its efforts to secure the Nation’s infrastructure and economy against terrorist attack and other catastrophic loss, the NRC will examine the public health, economic, and national security importance to the United States of key chemicals and chemical processes. A systems analysis perspective will be utilized to suggest a methodology to prioritize risk, identify scenarios of concern, and determine investments intended to enhance the long-term stability of the Nation’s chemical infrastructure. Within resources and information available, this review will: Identify classes of chemicals and chemical processes that are critical to the nation’s security, economy, and health. These products and services will be examined according to key sectors, including but not limited to manufacturing, agriculture, food, water, and public health. Identify the major vulnerabilities and points of weakness in the supply chain for these chemicals and chemical processes that could lead to catastrophic consequences. Include vulnerabilities during transportation and any special vulnerability that could exist during national emergencies. Examine the possibility of cascading failures that could lead to catastrophic supply disruption. Assess the likely impact of a significant disruption in the supply of these chemicals and processes. Using a systems perspective, discuss the size

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Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities (number of people or organizations affected, economic impact), the severity (temporary inconvenience vs. threat to long-term viability of sector, potential for injuries or loss of life, potential for environmental degradation), and the duration of such an impact. Include mitigative effects such as substitute chemical supplies and processes and alternative sources. Identify and assess the effectiveness of current efforts to protect the chemical supply and processes from attack or to prepare for response and recovery should an attack occur. Identify actions (procedures, policies, technology deployment) to help prevent disruption in the supply of these chemicals and processes, and actions to mitigate loss and injury should such disruption occur. Identify incentives and disincentives that affect decisions to take preventative and mitigating actions. Discuss areas of scientific, engineering, and economic research and development that might advance the nation’s capability to protect against such losses and minimize their impact. Provide estimates of when these R&D efforts might significantly advance the nation’s homeland security objectives. On the basis of this assessment, the NRC will offer some priorities for protection of key national assets.